View from ebizQ Blogger Keith Harrison-Broninski on the Red Hat-JBoss acquisition:
Good news for everyone - if you want another Microsoft, that is. RedHat Linux is already going the way that the Windows operating system did 20 years ago, as its market dominance gradually makes the survival of similar offerings less and less likely. IBM in particular must have been wondering how they managed to let it happen all over again. Now, in the same way that Microsoft strengthened its operating system monopoly via office applications, RedHat is aiming to do so via middleware.
But who actually is threatened by this? After all, both Linux and the JBoss stack are good software (some of which - jBPM - I've been recommending in my blog). However, don't be misled by the ability to
download source code. There will soon be nothing to stop RedHat inflating "the price of their support", for which, if you are an enterprise user, read "the price of their software". And neither RedHat nor JBoss have been shy of adding their own custom features to supposedly standard platforms in the past, so vendor lock-in is inevitable - just look at what a vast and complex mashup JBoss is becoming these days.
In the short-term, a RedHat/JBoss merger may be just what the developer community wants to see. In the longer term, I'm not so sure it will be for the good of the IT industry.